Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Winter Haven, FL
Whether it’s tripping over an object lying on the ground, slipping on a wet surface, or losing one’s footing on a staircase, everyone has a slip and fall accident at some point in their lives. Most of these occurrences are relatively minor, resulting only in small bruises or scrapes. However, slip and fall injuries can also be quite severe, sometimes causing painful trauma and lasting damage.
In Florida, people who are hurt in slip and fall accidents caused by someone else can seek compensation for their injuries and related damages. This money can help alleviate the heavy financial, physical, and emotional burdens that often come with a serious or disabling injury.
In order to win compensation, victims in personal injury cases must be able to prove that another’s carelessness, or negligence, caused their injuries. Working with a Winter Haven slip and fall lawyer at Brooks Law Group can position you for the best possible outcome in your case.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents occur when a person slips or trips on an unsafe surface and gets hurt.
Slip and fall accident claims fall under the umbrella of premises liability law, which is a broader term for accidents that occur on someone else’s property. Under Florida law, property owners may be held responsible for accidents like slip and fall injuries that occur because of dangerous conditions on their premises.
When people are seriously injured in slip and fall accidents, there are a few different ways they can recover compensation. First, they could file a claim against the property owner’s insurance provider, which may or may not result in an appropriate settlement.
If a reasonable insurance settlement can’t be reached, another option is to take the matter to court through a personal injury lawsuit. If you decide to go this route, many state laws and regulations will apply to your case, so it’s a good idea to contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
Where Do Slip and Falls Occur?
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, but especially in environments that aren’t well-maintained. If property owners fail to repair dangerous conditions on their premises or post warnings to visitors of the hazards, they can be held responsible for accidents that happen as a result. Slip and fall injuries happen on residential, commercial, or even government properties because of:
- Wet floors or surfaces
- Lack of warning signs
- Objects left on the floor
- Flying or falling objects
- Poor indoor or outdoor lighting
- Extension cables and other trip hazards
- Uneven or broken pavement
- Displays and other obstructions
- Pipe or ventilation leaks
- Slick or crumbling stairways
- Missing or defective handrails
- Missing or defective guardrails
- Wrinkled or unsecured rugs or mats
- Faulty escalators or elevators
- Un-enclosed ponds or pools
- Lack of lighting in parking areas
- Exposed tree roots or falling branches
If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident and believe that a property owner’s negligence is to blame, a trusted attorney can gather the evidence needed to build a strong and persuasive claim for compensation.
Common Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
Some of the most common slip and fall injuries include:
- Sprains and soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Head injury, concussion, and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Shoulder injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee, leg, and pelvis injuries
- Elbow injuries
- Deep cuts and lacerations
Even in cases where victims of slip and fall accidents are expected to make a full recovery, the cost of medical expenses, missed work, pain, and suffering, and other losses can wreak havoc on a family’s finances. A full and fair settlement can account for past, current, and future losses to reduce immediate hardships and secure a stronger financial future.
Slip and Fall Injury Statistics
National statistics show that falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Consider these figures:
- More than 8 million, or 21.3 percent of all emergency room visits each year are the result of accidental falls.
- Half of all accidental deaths that occur at home are from falls, which mostly happen at ground level rather than from heights.
- Broken bones occur in 5 percent of all slip and fall accident victims.
- Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of fatal workplace injuries, trailing only transportation accidents and acts of violence.
In Florida specifically, slip and fall accident statistics from a Florida Department of Health survey note that:
- Falls are the leading cause of injury fatalities among Florida residents and the leading cause of non-fatal, injury-related hospital visits in the state.
- Fall risk increases with age among Floridians, with those 85 and older showing the highest rates of fatal fall-related injuries and non-fatal hospitalizations.
- Among Florida workers, slip and fall injuries accounted for 25 percent of all workplace fatalities in 2018, trailing only transportation-related deaths.
Average Settlement Amounts for Slip and Fall Injuries
If you’re considering an insurance claim or lawsuit for your slip and fall injuries, you may be wondering how much your case is worth. The answer: It depends.
The facts of your case will play a large role in how much compensation you are able to receive.
If your injuries were not severe but still required medical attention, you’re likely entitled to compensation that will at least cover the costs of your medical treatment. If your slip and fall accident had more serious consequences, your claim could be worth a lot more.
Below are some of the costs for which slip and fall accident victims commonly seek damages:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity, if you are unable to continue the work you did prior to your accident
- Pain and suffering caused by your accident
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of companionship, if a spouse suffers due to their partner’s injury
- Punitive damages, intended to punish negligent property owners
It’s important to note that there’s no such thing as a standard slip and fall settlement amount. However, your attorney should be able to give you a general idea of what your claim is worth after reviewing your case. Keep in mind that it is an estimate only. No lawyer can promise a certain dollar amount.
Can I Sue for My Slip and Fall Injury?
In some cases, slip and fall victims may be able to obtain the compensation they need to recover from their injuries through a settlement with the insurance company. But in many cases, insurers are more interested in protecting their bottom lines than in claimants’ personal health. When insurance providers are unwilling to agree to reasonable settlements, injured parties are sometimes forced to sue for damages in court.
In order to win a slip and fall lawsuit, the injured person must be able to show that the property owner is at fault for the accident.
Florida uses a doctrine called pure comparative negligence to determine fault in personal injury cases. Under this law, any settlement an injured party receives can be reduced based on his/her percentage of fault for the accident. The good news about this system is that you can still be awarded some compensation even if you are 99 percent responsible for your slip and fall accident.
The bad news is that insurance companies will work tirelessly to push fault for the accident onto you so that they don’t have to pay. A slip and fall accident attorney can defend you in these circumstances so that your case isn’t dismissed unfairly.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
Whether you decide to file a property insurance claim or take your personal injury matter to court, many Florida laws and regulations will apply to your case. Slip and fall accident cases are often complex and expensive, which means the earlier you have a dedicated personal injury lawyer in Winter Haven on your side, the better.
Having an experienced lawyer in your corner from Day One can ensure you always have someone looking out for your best interests, no matter how your case progresses. If you receive a lowball insurance settlement, a Winter Haven slip and fall accident lawyer won’t hesitate to negotiate for the recovery you deserve. If your claim is denied outright, the attorneys at Brooks Law Group can represent you aggressively in court. We’re prepared to do whatever is best for your case and you.
How Can Brooks Law Group Help Me?
The legal team at Brooks Law Group has successfully represented clients in thousands of personal injury cases throughout Winter Haven and the surrounding Florida communities. We can help you fully understand your legal rights, compile evidence to build a winning case, and act as your personal representative to give you the strongest claim possible.